Brands Hatch: Ten Kate Honda final qualifying report

Muggeridge Takes Pole With Parkes Second Karl Muggeridge (Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR) and Broc Parkes showed that the recent summer break in the World Supersport Championship schedule has affected their excellent form not at all as they finished...

Muggeridge Takes Pole With Parkes Second

Karl Muggeridge (Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR) and Broc Parkes showed that the recent summer break in the World Supersport Championship schedule has affected their excellent form not at all as they finished 1-2 in the final timed qualifying session. Muggeridge was the only rider to squeeze into the 1:28 second mark, with his time of 1:28.991 the best of the weekend, delivering him an amazing sixth pole position in seven attempts this season. Parkes improved on his first day performance also, taking second quickest time with a 1:29.095, securing his second place starting position by only 0.004 seconds.

Always in the top few places, Muggeridge and Parkes had to fight of a serious threat from the Honda of Sebastien Charpentier, in third overall, with the Yamahas of 2002 Champion Fabien Foret and Aussie Kevin Curtain in fourth and fifth overall respectively. Muggeridge's main championship rival Jurgen van den Goorbergh will line up sixth for the 23-lap race on Sunday 1 August. The race is expected to take place in the same sunny 26C conditions which were present today.

Muggeridge, concentrating on taking his pole prowess forward once more in a race situation, stated, "We've been working on the chassis and because we don't have super-soft tyres these days; it's just a matter of getting the bike to work to its maximum. When the tyres are a bit fresh you need to push a little bit harder but there is a compromise between that ideal setting and what your race setting has to be. It's going to be tight tomorrow but I will be pushing for sure. We'll just have to see how it goes."

Parkes was particularly happy to secure such a speed and start position at what he has already confessed is not the best track for him. "Yeah that was pretty good and pretty unexpected. I was just coming in trying to find my way around so I'm happy with that. It is my third time this year to be second, but I cannot complain. We worked our way around the bike fine-tuning setting and then I just hung it out to have a go, for one or two laps. You have to ride this circuit 95% pretty much all the time but sometimes you can ride it 101%."

Team Manager Ronald Ten Kate heaped praise on both his riders and his fellow team-members, "Karl already has a big reputation for taking pole positions and it makes us particularly happy to see him doing it right after the summer break. I am even more happy for Broc, who came here to one of his less favoured tracks, and worked very hard over the weekend with the team to give him the confidence to do what he did. Racing is something quite different around here, and it will be a pretty long and especially hot race so starting from the front row is very important. I'm as happy as can be."

Vermeulen Seventh After Superpole

Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR rider Chris Vermeulen experienced a tough Superpole qualifying session, with a couple of front end slides and a small error holding down his Superpole time and pushing him to seventh overall. He thus starts from row two, when his more usual position this year is amongst the leading four on the front row.

The track has proved a challenge to the team and rider on qualifying tyres from day one, despite a fruitful test at the very differently proportioned Oschersleben circuit prior to the race. Vermeulen was sixth after regulation qualifying, only 0.3 seconds from the then provisional pole time, but has set good times on a full race set-up. Vermeulen commented on his Superpole lap and regulation qualifying, outlining how the weekend has panned out so far. "I made a little mistake but I had grip problems with the front two or three times in that lap so I was a bit concerned that there might not be something right with the tyre. But it wasn't a good lap and I had done quicker laps than that on a race tyre this weekend. At one stage I was worried about being on the third row, not the second, so at least that didn't happen. We're still not happy with the bike setup and this is such a different circuit. We also seem to have reduced grip here, because normally on the Honda we could use a softer tyre than the Ducati. But everyone is using a softer tyre here."

Team Manager Ronald Ten Kate is confident of good race results, despite the disappointment of Superpole. "For sure were hoping and expecting a bit more from Superpole. For some reason the front was sliding around too much and this was a bit unexpected because so far this weekend we had no problems from the front. For raceday starting from the second row is Ok and Chris has been up front with the leading riders all weekend on a race tyre set-up."

-tkhr-

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About this article
Series World Superbike
Drivers Jurgen van den Goorbergh , Broc Parkes , Fabien Foret , Chris Vermeulen , Karl Muggeridge , Kevin Curtain , Sébastien Charpentier